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Compelling Narratives for Complex Decisions: Policy Analyst Fundamentals

Develop your skills as a policy analyst as you learn the techniques to write compelling narratives that support decision-making.

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The CPD Certification Service

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies. Find out more.

Build your reputation in public policy as you learn to give quality advice

Quality advice is advice that supports ministers and/or senior leaders to make a decision. For policy analysts, providing quality advice is the most important part of the role.

On this three-week course, you’ll learn how to provide quality advice, every time. You’ll improve your writing skills as you discover how to write a compelling narrative that clearly supports your senior leaders to make a decision.

With this ability, you can build a reputation for writing powerful papers for decision-making.

Discover the process for creating an effective narrative structure

You’ll delve into the five-step narrative process and learn how to use the components of an effective narrative in your writing.

With this knowledge, you’ll explore the importance of these techniques in aiding better decision-making.

Explore signposting words and other language techniques

Using your knowledge of narrative structure, you’ll learn how to apply your narrative to a paper template to support a decision.

Next, you’ll learn how to use the right language, style, and tone for your audience. You’ll also explore techniques such as signposting words to help ensure your audience receives the intended message.

Unpack the importance of narrative for decision-making in government policy

We live in a world where we’re faced with increasingly complex challenges to solve in increasingly short timeframes. This means that the need to make great decisions is more crucial than ever.

As a policy analyst, and with the help of this course, you can have a direct impact on the quality of decisions, and the speed at which they are made, by learning how to create a compelling narrative for the purpose of a decision.


  • Week 1

    Narrative fundamentals

    • Introduction

      Welcome to the course.

    • What is a narrative?

      Let's explore what we mean when we talk about a narrative.

    • The shape of a narrative

      Every narrative follows a path - a narrative arc – the shape of which helps the reader understand the story.

    • Two important considerations

      There are two final things to consider before we get started on the narrative process: the audience and the final product.

    • Wrapping up the week

      Congratulations on completing Week One.

  • Week 2

    The five-step narrative process

    • Welcome to Week Two

      Welcome to Week Two. This week introduces the five-step narrative process and takes you through steps one to three. Enjoy!

    • The narrative process

      Introducing the five-step narrative process.

    • Step one

      Step one is to get your story straight.

    • Step two

      Step two is to draft a comprehensive summary parargraph

    • Step three

      Step three is to expand your summary into subheadings.

    • Wrapping up the week

      Congratulations on completing Week Two.

  • Week 3

    Bringing it all together to write a paper

    • Welcome to Week Three

      Welcome to Week Three. This is your final week. This week looks at the last two steps of the five-step narrative process and explores how to write well focusing on active voice, the use of jargon, and simplifying your language.

    • Step four

      Step four is to substantiate a point.

    • Styling the substance

      Let's now move on to talk about signposting words, language, tone and style.

    • Step five

      Step five is applying to your template.

    • Wrapping up the course

      Congratulations on completing your Narrative for Better Decisions course!

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to curate a narrative for the purpose of supporting a decision
  • Explain the five-step narrative process as it applies to creating advice for senior decision makers
  • Apply the essential elements of a narrative to a standard paper template
  • Present advice that uses the right tone, language, and style to engage senior decision makers

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for policy analysts with between one and four years’ experience in government policy who want to develop their writing skills.

It will also be useful for anyone who communicates with the intention to influence.

Who will you learn with?

I have over 25 years experience working in senior strategic and operational roles across New Zealand’s central government to improve results from the front line to parliament.

Who developed the course?


To support better decisions, faster, you need go-to decision-making frameworks that work every time. FranCapability provides the frameworks so you can quickly create the advice.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

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  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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